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Aspyr Media updates, digital distribution plans (Macworld Expo)

Zack Stern

Mac games mainstay, Aspyr Media is showing of its latest and upcoming titles at the Macworld Expo. Easily the company with the most Mac game releases in recent years, Aspyr will ship the Mac version of its Best in Show, Prey to retailers next week, with Star Wars: Empire At War next on the company's Mac list. Aspyr also reminded us its PC and PS2 title, The Shield, will also ship to stores next week.

In addition to upcoming games, we learned more about the company's Game Agent digital distribution service for Mac gamers. Currently a method of testing Mac hardware to see if new games will run, Game Agent will be relaunched this year to offer a back catalog of Aspyr titles that don't fit on retail shelves.

The Mac-only service -- at least initially -- will sell older titles mostly as-is, although some may be updated to work better with the latest version of OS X on a case-by-case basis. OS 9 games, however, will be unlikely to be updated to Mac OS X versions, and Aspyr may not offer those games at all.

Aspyr wants to include as many games as possible, but it needs to clear the rights for its older Mac titles, most of which were PC ports. We asked about the potential for small Mac developers to sell games though the service, and we were told that may happen, but that's not the focus. Instead, marketing director, Leah Heck told us Aspyr first wants to "give people access to the back catalog and make it easy to play."

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